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Audio Shows Mati Fire Investigator Threatened by Fire Chief

ATHENS – Adding to a pile of evidence against officials accused of bungling their response to July 23, 2018 wildfires that killed 102 people and nearly wiped out the village of Mati is an audio recording reportedly indicating ex-Fire Chief Vassilis Mattheopoulos warned an investigator not report any failures.

That came from an Athens prosecutor, said Kathimerini, with investigator Dimitris Liotsis the target, as authorities have been trying repeatedly to upgrade charges against fire brigade and civil protection officials to felonies.

“If you write about the responsibilities of your superiors, we will all gather and tear you apart,” Mattheopoulos is heard saying to Liotsios, the report said. 

In January this year Liotsios requested that the charges faced by officials be upgraded, citing false reports regarding the mobilization of the air resources, and the declaration of the region in a State of Emergency. 

Family members of some victims have also filed suit and an independent report showed the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that was in charge when the fires struck northeast of Athens had no clue or plan to deal with such disasters.

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